A good heart. What is it really? That was the bull’s eye of a conversation I recently had concerning intriguing current events and conditions in the world these days. Confusion, chaos, natural disasters, pandemic threats, social turmoil and inequalities, political upheavals. The list can go on and on. There is no intent of sounding dismal here, but just relaying an exchange not rare at all – but rather, common anywhere and any place these days. The casual discussion peaked to a perplexity accented by the question – what is happening? Are these the signs of the time? Some may wonder what that question alludes to. Almost like a cliché used when baffled about widespread dire occurrences. And usually, the question is asked with some alarm.
Without advancing theories or ideas that may stir fear or anxiety, I bring this up because of the way my conversation ended up. In a nutshell, my take was this — there are circumstances beyond our control, and we watch with some helplessness because we desire solutions, rectification, a fix. The truth is, we can do something. We all can contribute to making life more purposeful in a better world. How? Keeping a good heart. Sounds too simplistic for a complicated and ambivalent world whose proclivity is success without a soul, you might say.
So what really is a good heart?
When churning ideas to characterize a good heart, I thought of my Mama, Leoncia Manuel Pandes, who passed on Nov.7, 2017, a month shy of her 101st birthday — a beautiful woman with a good heart (sketch by Marie Recine – used in my book, Something Curious, Book 2: Simply Awed).